After much testing, brainstorming, research, and data review. We found the best intercooler for your X3!
First off, C&R is an industry leader in cooling solutions dating back to the 80s. They supply much of Indy Car, Formula 1, Nascar, V8 Supercar, and many Off Road series. With roots in Australian off-road competition and Safari competitions they know exactly what we demand.
The best intercooler on the market today tested by us on the dyno and on track at pro level short course is now available from WSRD. The ability to maintain and control charge temps in turbo applications is critical for power and reliability especially when using or limited to lower octane. C&R implemented a core they developed for Formula 1 to use on the Can-Am X3 platform as natural airflow is sacrificed for packaging (intercooler top mounted horizontal in rear of car). A tube and fin core design offers lightweight, efficient heat transfer with much less physical size, and high flow.
We have tested the best bar and plate core from Garrett in a much larger footprint (12"x10"x4.5"), which requires mounting the core higher in the bed and modifying the intake cover. Not a perfect bolt on affair, but this angle does promote more airflow over and through the core. The C&R core measures at 10x10x2.67 which conveniently mounts in the stock location without modification. In testing we did mount the intercooler at a more steep angle to help natural airflow.
- Stock intercooler weight: 5.9lbs
- C&R intercooler weight: 6.6lbs (uses factory shroud and fan)
- Garrett intercooler weight (with shroud): 18.6lbs
Please note we tried to make the results as real and as controlled as possible. It is very difficult sometimes but we try our best and we are confident we are giving you truthful results. Boost pressure targets and ambient temps are as close as we possibly can make it between all the cars.
Testing on the dyno; all pulls are made with fan override switch, from 7mph to 75mph: (temperatures are measured in Fahrenheit)
- OEM intercooler with 2019 fan: 20-22* temp gain
- Garrett intercooler with 2018 fan: No temp gain
- C&R intercooler with 2019 fan: 0-2* temp gain
In competition testing; 10 lap short course pro mod results, intercooler fan override: (temperatures are measured in Fahrenheit)
- OEM intercooler: untested
- Garrett intercooler: starts at 83* and equalizes/heat soaked between 173-192*
- C&R intercooler: starts at 86* and when equalizes/heat soaked between 145-163*
The Garrett core BFIC and others of similar construction do work extremely well until it reaches the point of heat soak. The inability of the bar and plate design to efficiently move air and sheer size acts as a huge heat sink with little gain or loss when it equalizes. The C&R design is special in its ability to dissipate heat through its smaller dimensions while still having the amazing ability to transfer the heat from the charge air to the cooler. The smaller core thickness allows the fan to move more air.
It is extremely important to note here that the stock intercooler flows air effectively. Peak horsepower numbers on the dyno will likely be the same. Power at the end of the pull and/or while out in the dunes or the trails when you are pushing the car hard will be where this intercooler shines.